Couple caught in SLO chief’s gun fiasco granted visitation

August 16, 2019

Cheyne Orndoff, Princess, and Vanessa Bedroni reunited a few days earlier.


The couple swept up in the search for the gun that San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell lost in a restaurant bathroom is being allowed to see their children again. [Cal Coast Times]

Cheyne Orndoff and Vanessa Bedroni shared a birthday cake with their 8- and 9-year-old daughters after the ruling by Judge Timothy Covello allowed them contact with the children.

Orndorf and Bedroni’s children were taken from them after police failed to find the chief’s gun during a warrantless search of their home. Failing to find the gun, police then reported the couple to Child Protective Services because they found the couple’s home dirty. They were arrested on charges of child neglect.

The children were taken from the home and the couple was subject to an order denying them the right to phone or see their two daughters. A Tuesday hearing in Covello’s chambers involving the prosecution and defense attorneys resulted in the modification to the protective order.

Chief Deanna Cantrell

The family’s ordeal began on July 10 when Chief Cantrell left her Glock 42 pistol on the toilet paper holder in the bathroom of an El Pollo Loco restaurant. The gun is banned for sale to the public in California because it has been deemed unsafe because it has no external safety and has what is known as a short trigger pull. The Glock has been blamed in a number of deaths including that of a Florida police officer.

A surveillance video showed a clean-shaven man entering the bathroom after Chief Cantrell left. A Morro Bay officer saw the video and said the man shown was Orndoff. However Orndoff has a full beard and mustache.

Police descended on Orndoff’s home, and asked his permission to search his house even though several officers noted he looked nothing like the suspect, Orndoff said.

Orndoff said no, saying that he was not at the restaurant and he did not take the chief’s gun. Detectives Jason Dickle and Suzie Walsh declared because he was on probation they did not need a warrant for a search, Orndoff said. The police then searched the house but failed to find the gun.

Ordoff was not on probation.

His brother, Cole Orndoff, had stolen Cheyne Orndoff’s identity and passed himself off as Cheyne as he committed crimes. In 2017, officers arrested Cole Orndoff for drug related offenses and for impersonating his brother Cheyne Orndoff.

A few months later, Cole Orndoff pleaded no contest to five misdemeanors charges including a count of impersonation. Judge Craig van Rooyen sentenced Cole Orndoff to time served and three years informal probation, according to court records.

In logging the probation of Cole Orndoff into the county criminal justice information system, it appears that either an employee of the superior court or of the district attorney’s office wrongly listed Cheyne Orndoff as the defendant and not the victim.

After SLO police officers raided the couple’s home, they put their daughters, then 7 and 9, in foster care, and arrested them for child neglect because of a dirty house.

Last weekend, the couple was reunited with Princess, the family’s dog. Princess was seized and put in the pound when the couple was arrested and their children taken.

Since Orndoff was mistakenly entered into the county criminal justice information system, a string of errors and violations of his and Bedroni’s rights have occurred.

During the arrest, Orndoff said he was not read his Miranda Rights.

In California, arrestees are required to be arraigned within three days. Even though Orndoff and Bedroni were arrested on July 10, they were kept in jail until their arraignment on July 15.

Because the search on their home was conducted without a warrant and the fact that the man suspected of taking the gun was clean-shaven while Orndoff was bearded, it is likely the couple’s attorneys will argue that anything found in the home, including photos police took inside the house, were obtained illegally, and as such would not be admissible under the exclusionary rule.

In an attempt to raise money to make repairs at their home and to help cover legal expenses, the couple posted a plea for assistance on GoFundMe.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Skeeter Mangan, a developmentally disabled person who found the gun and secured it while trying to figure out how to return it, is being charged with a crime. He has a good defense under the law and may not be guilty of any crime as the found property was returned promptly. Chief Cantrell is 110% guilty of a crime under California law. Where are the charges against her? If the DA’s going to charge people, straight up by the book, I want to see Cantrell charged, CLEARLY guilty of leaving a firearm in a public place where it could be accessed by children or other people prevented from possessing a firearm (California Penal Code Section 25000).

Sorry, but it isn’t a “fiasco.”

It’s a cover-up. The Chief committed a crime when she lost control of her firearm in a public restroom. She’s trying to cover that up.

It’s called projection.

This is really disgusting, i generally stick up for law enforcement but this type of crime turns me against LE. The guilty parties involved (LE) should be fired and prosecuted and if found guilty lose their pensions. This is the only way to restore confidence in law enforcement.

I couldn’t agree more, shame on the hopefully soon to be former police chief. As a father of 5 with 3 grandchildren, we occasionally have a dirty home. I hope the police and CPS have solid evidence that the children’s health and safety were in jeopardy. If not I hope the couple and their lawyer take the whole lot of them to the woodshed. I’m sick of all the frivolous, money seeking , character assassinating lawsuits but I could get behind this one

OK, the dog looks very happy to be home with her people, what about the 7 and 9 year-old girls? The SLOPD is more than happy to destroy this family to justify the Chief’s cover-up.

Time to write the Attorney general…this is blatant disregard of the law…I would tell the chief if I could to step down and end this fiasco now…

Y’all crack me up! No, really!

Please just remember one thing, just one thing…. when you’re pointin’ that index finger at all of these easy as chit targets? The ones with targets on their backs 24/7/365? Don’t forget that three are pointin’ right back at your dumb asses! Three!

Yea, get a clue then get back to your mirrors and point that frickin’ finger right at who it’s supposed to be pointed at; then all will be pointed directly at the root cause of all this kind of bullshit!

And yet the police have been asked to release the body cam footage of the illegal search and have refused to do so or explain why. They must still be editing it or talking with DA Dow and Attorney Dietrich to come up with a defense as to why no footage is available,

We need to pay Dietrich more to come up with a defense even though she makes more than the California Attorney General and the City pays for all legal work to be contracted out.

Straight up jack booted Gestapo cops in SLO.

Try getting in to my law abiding ATSC household without a warrant and you will be introduced to my legal arsenal.

I live by their motto, “Shoot first, ask questions later.”

Do you feel lucky, punks?

I appreciate your sentiment.

I’m also pissed off, Marauder. but violence is wrong, no matter which side your on. Don’t stoop down their level. Please!


Wow! All Dirty Harry and chit! Guess you have a 44mag you’ll introduce them to?

Why not show some real cojones? Just plant your ass on their front steps and tell them to their faces what you plan on doin’ if they cross your line in the sand? Lot more effective then postin’ your Dirty Harry manifesto here on CCN, right?

Violence begets violence, remember that, ’cause I guarantee you that actions that you suggest would cause the whole community harm!

ATSC household, what a joke!

CC_Marauder, you’ve seen COPS, you’ve seen the headlines. You’ll either get the door kicked in, and the house searched……or…..they’ll kill you. That’s it, that’s your choice. Shoot first and ask questions later? As far as what I’ve personally seen on the news, nobody has beaten the cops in a shootout for a long, long time. They have better toys than we have.